tv Studio 1.0 Bloomberg March 26, 2016 4:00am-4:31am EDT
cooking. let's make david thompson. the first thai restaurant to receive a michelin star. his quest did not stop there. he brought fusion to bangkok, winning the title of asia's best restaurant. he says there is more to come. he would tell us about his culinary journey. and david thompson, welcome to highfliers. you have said that your mom was the worst cook. the skills did not come from
her. >> it jumped a generation or two. cliques which at this passion come from? >> i am puzzled. it started when i was 22. i describe it like a genetic timebomb. food or awareness before then. all of a sudden, i became obsessed with food. bang i don't know what caused it. i became ravenous. i started to learn. i used all the tools that i had. to try and understand as much as i could. at that stage, it was french food. trained inwere
french cuisine? >> chefs told me i was incompetent. i have persisted. to me, it was a passion. 6-7oked european food for years. i don't know whether i could have become well known if i stayed with french food. what changed is i went to thailand. trip tos a cancelled tahiti? chaos.ved the the difference from sydney. tonjoyed the approach
life. andelcome, delicious, enticing. i thought thai food was an interesting type of cuisine with no great depth. ch in comparison to western cuisine. fantastic ingredients -- then i met this old woman. i called her "grandmother." i remember the first thing she cooked. she was the grandmother of a friend of ours.
cooked a sour orange curry. i can see it now. orange curry with fish.ster-looking and of tamarind leaves fried chilis. when i tasted it, the poise and elegance, each flavor. there was true balance. it made me think, my god, this is so different than the street food i had tasted. an old trained in palace. and there were many in
bangkok. they were seen as finishing schools. women would spend years there beofre their marriage to finesse siamese culture. one important aspect was food and cooking. she had this remarkable heritage and it showerd. d. michelen star. >> stupid, really. >> how does that happen> ? of thosendependent things. i deal with the matter at hand.
in 2014, your restaurant was ined the best restaurant asia. >> many voters must have been drunk. [laughter] >> you said other restaurants deserve it more? >> i am critical about what we do. i see the faults, not the results. only way to the improve is to see the errors. i was taken aback. we did not win this year. i thought, there
are so many other good restaurants out there. it was the luck of the draw. take the theis claiming toreigner cook thai? >> they are incredulous. i was no better than other westerners at the beginning. i remember one of the nicest things -- there was a thai woman in london who came in and she left after lunch, left unhappily. you could see the scowl on her
face. i said, what's wrong? she said, i came to complain, but i can't. the thais themselves found it unbelievable. understand.uch only when we moved to bangkok, it has taken us five years to be accepted. i understand that authenticity means different things for different people. i needed a firm understanding of
what thai food was to present it with integrity. i did a lot of research into old recipes. >> and you have read many book. yearsination fof four of work. >> it was behind schedule. was thesher says, i worst autheor when it came to a deadline. i saw the deadline as the starting point. >> you talk about staying faithful but the thais themselves undersell thai
food. hospitable inately and don't wish to offend. they won't present something unpalatable to their guests. there is so much more to thai food than green curry, or a panang of beef, or a salad. thereous as they are -- is a vast repetoire in the canon that should be enjoyed. thais loves that type of food. whether it is fermented fish or stir fried greens.
cooked to order using good produce. same as any cuisine. the problem outside of thailand, it is hard to find fresh coconuts or curry paste. you cannot do that in birmingham or melbourne, or berlin. resort to using canned stuff. different is much unfortunately,k, people have to resort to canned varieties. i found that really -- in my
we have a thai approach. alain's restaurant was perfection but they operate in a way distinct, old-fashioned . very french way. [laughter] shuffle.re than a they were very accommodating and welcoming without question. it took a while for them to begin to relax into the service. there was this uncertainty and nervousness. it was reasonably successful. winning was to make the kitchen smile and laugh which probably hadn't happened in quite a while.
i still remember, a guy have to do a stirfry, i said you have to put a flame on and actually burn the wok. you almost have to burn it. you have to have that flame almost reaching too far. the redoing it and laughing at the same time as they were flaming. i thought, these bloody idiot french, they will laugh at anything. cooking, in the kitchen, if anything flames, it is considered ruined in a third out. it was a shuffle for them to. --you like the other chefs you use ingredients you were not meant to. you treated. -- you -- you cheated. >> the shuffle was quite elusive
and nobody is quite -- nobody knew what they could do and what they had to do. there were two explicit rules that andrea talked about. he said, you cannot take and he reveals with it. you're on your own. you cannot take any ingredients with you. >> low and behold -- >> i took one assistant and 65 kilograms of ingredients. i know that renee who was in ingredientstook 85 into the assistance. almost everybody cheated. i found that really heartening that in my industry, we know how to break rules. aboutwere passionate cooking but you are also looking to step away. you consider stepping with from being a chef. >> absolutely. . have been cooking for so long there are moments of disillusionment with anything, what the hell am i doing a?
>> but french and english furniture? [laughter] there are a few fantasies i have found. have the same innocent through and pleasure when i cook that i had even at the beginning of my career. it is a timeless thing. i'm lucky to have that. i would consider myself a bit of a failure if i had to like a linecook cook at my age now having several restaurants. i was still going to kitchens and cook. nama is established. in the type of food i have been doing for most of my career -- inere is the food and long ch is too popular. anti-or some of the -- pad thai
-- he's a big, i don't think -- now, it is exactly that. i'm enjoying doing stirfry noodles. which i have never done before. it is a great charm. it is engaging. i am learning how to manage noodles properly. >> having achieved what you have for the last 20 years, it is about leaving a legacy behind. >> i am like a work with many thais who have the capacity of achieving something far greater than the. one thing that i do need to do is -- this wonderful heritage and tradition in thai culture and cuisine, custom way people of good birth when he died during the commission there would be a book published that recounted their life, interests,
it in very often there was a trove of recipes. they might be one or two or 20 or 30. i have several hundred bucks. -- books. as well as old cookbooks. libraryends have a vast of cookbooks and digitize and put them online so that young thai cooks can enjoy the heritage that they have rather than them sitting on the shelf moldering away unopened in unused and not active. i think it is so important for thais to know with your food was said that your cooking doesn't anchored in the traditions as my approaches, so they are least aware of what they have, and change it. thais have a great culinary carte blanche.
in bangkok, it is blossoming. --e tha interpretingis thai some thais interpreting thai food with modern techniques. if people have access to information, else to ensure that there is a greater veracity in their experimentation and execution then if they did not. i am a great believer in looking to the past to ensure that the present in the future has depth and meaning in providence. >> said, chef. david thompson, thank you so much. such a pleasure. >> thank you very much. ♪
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